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Welcome to Whitsons’ community blog forum! We believe it is important to get involved with our team members, clients, and customers, as well as create a space for information exchange, interesting perspectives, and interactive communications.

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Foods for Eye Health

Posted by Katherine Ancona
Katherine Ancona
Katherine Ancona is a Registered Dietitian for Whitsons Culinary Group. She received her Master’s Degree in Fo...
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on Thursday, 06 April 2017 in School Nutrition Blog

eyehealthblogEating healthy to maintain your normal body functions is always at the top of the list, but what about eating healthy for your vision?  There are many foods that are beneficial for eye health.  For instance, it is important to consume nutrients with components such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and Vitamins A, C, and E. Consuming foods with these nutrients can help decrease the risk for vision related problems in the future. These types of foods can be green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts, beans, oranges, and other citrus fruits or juices. Let’s take a look at a few in some more detail!

 

Leafy greens are super important when it comes to having healthy eyes. One leafy green to consume more of is kale. Kale is a high source of both lutein and zeaxanthin, which are related to vitamin A and beta carotene. Both of these nutrients have been shown to help protect the eyes from sunlight damage. Other leafy greens that have this amazing vitamin are collard greens and spinach, as well as other fruits and vegetables like broccoli, peas, oranges, and red grapes. Vitamin A and beta-carotene need to be absorbed with fat, so be sure to consume with a healthy fat such as olive oil.

Another important vegetable that is helpful to eyes are sweet potatoes. Any deep orange vegetable is filled with beta carotene and Vitamin A that in turn can decrease night blindness and prevent eyes from becoming dry. If you or your child do not like sweet potatoes, try other vegetables such as carrots and butternut squash, or even dark green foods including spinach and collard greens. Milk and eggs are also high in Vitamin A, so be sure to include them in moderation to your diet as well.

Vitamin C is another vitamin that is excellent for eye health as well as offering immune system support. This vitamin is essential in lowering the risk for cataracts, and helpful in the growth and repair of a variety of tissues. Foods high in Vitamin C are broccoli, citrus fruits, strawberries, Brussel sprouts, berries, potatoes, and bell peppers.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also a great help in decreasing dry eyes. These healthy fats can be found in salmon, tuna, nuts, soybeans, leafy vegetables, oils (canola, corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed), and a variety of seeds. DHA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that is particularly important in protecting the eyes from damage. Salmon also contains vitamin D, which helps prevent macular degeneration; vitamin D is also in sardines, milk, and fortified juices.

Antioxidants are also essential in decreasing the risk for various eye diseases.  Foods that contain plenty of these are green tea, dark chocolate, apples, and berries. Zinc is another mineral that keeps eyes at their best; foods with plenty of zinc include fortified breakfast cereals, beans, lean pork, whole-wheat flour, and pumpkin seeds. Vitamin E works well with Vitamin C to keep eye tissues strong. Sunflower seeds, wheat germ, almonds, pecans, and vegetable oils are all good sources of this helpful vitamin!

 

Overall, consuming a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins will keep your eyes working at their best.

 

Contributor: Katherine Ancona, R.D.

 

About Katherine Ancona:

Katherine Ancona is a Registered Dietitian for Whitsons Culinary Group. She received her Master’s Degree in Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science from Clemson University in 2013. While attending Clemson University, she led a team of undergraduate students in modifying recipes to be healthier. She is most interested in wellness, pediatric, and culinary nutrition, and she also serves as a volunteer for the Kids Eat Right Campaign. Katherine completed her dietetic internship at Oklahoma State University in 2014, and began working for Whitson’s Culinary Group as a Registered Dietitian in August of 2016.

 

References:

http://www.eatright.org

https://nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/eyehealthtips

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author and should not be construed as the opinions of Whitsons Culinary Group or any of its affiliates.  All content and material contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only, and no representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of this information.  It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual.  It is not medical advice and should not be treated as such.  You should not rely on the information in this blog as a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

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Katherine Ancona is a Registered Dietitian for Whitsons Culinary Group. She received her Master’s Degree in Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science from Clemson University in 2013. While attending Clemson University, she led a team of undergraduate students in modifying recipes to be healthier. She is most interested in wellness, pediatric, and culinary nutrition, and she also serves as a volunteer for the Kids Eat Right Campaign. Katherine completed her dietetic internship at Oklahoma State University in 2014, and began working for Whitson’s Culinary Group as a Registered Dietitian in August of 2016.

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